The Winds of Change Should Shift Our Sail Too

Echos of history, paths to the future 

Prepared by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Who wrote this and when: “I have been keeping up with the situation in Egypt, and as you know this is one of the most important issues in world today. It will determine whether we live in peace or whether we will die in war. Naturally my sympathies are with Egypt, rather than with the Western Colonial and imperial powers.

Answer: Martin Luther King, Jr., letter to Jimmy Bishai, 7 January 1957 in context of tripartite (France, England, Israel) aggression on Egypt ( A translated version of a 50 years old comic book relating the non-violent civil disobedience movement of Martin Luther King, Jr. was distributed throughout Tahrir Square in Egypt.

In Egypt on 11 November 1918, Saad Zaghloul and other grassroots leaders asked the new British occupation forces to permit the development of an Egyptian leadership with a view to independence. When this was rejected, these leaders collected over two million signatures which endorsed a new leadership anyway. The British responded by arresting the leaders and this led to general strikes and massive demonstrations; a popular uprising. This accelerated in 1919 and continued until 1922 when the British finally allowed the formation of an Egyptian constitutional government, albeit ruled by a monarch friendly to British interests. But today, the Egyptian people will only accept a government of and by the people.

I received so many calls and hundreds of emails from fellow activists in Palestine saying Mabruk (congratulations) about Egypt. We rightly feel validated, elated, gratified, and happy because an end of repressive and corrupt regimes allied with the US Israel would finally make governments accountable to people. Egypt and Tunisia together are a quarter of the Arab world (Lebanon is also democratic so that is nearly a third down, two thirds to go). Algeria, Yemen, and Bahrain are starting now. People demand not only an end to dictatorships in their countries but an end to their governments’ acquiescence in apartheid policies. And when the support for Israeli apartheid from the West ends, democracy will be easier to spread to countries like Iran and Syria (that pulls a major leg of popular support for them). It will be hard to predict sequence of change but my guess is that Israel and its western backers may come later in the game of popular revolts. A new intifada/uprising is due here in Palestine against Israeli colonialism. There is a god likelihood of a global uprising this year or next. Israeli right-wing government is trying to act ahead of that by outlawing boycotts and by shooting and jailing nonviolent protesters; they just passed a law in the “Knesset” to levy heavy fines on Israeli citizens who call or promote the boycotts (See last item below). Israel still holds hundreds of political prisoners. To respond we must intensify our popular uprisings everywhere including using boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS, see ). The 21st century will be the century of popular revolts. By the end of it, concentration of wealth in the hands of a few while billions live below poverty lines will be ended. Wars will be ended. And we will address the environmental problems that face us that our governments and corporations created by their greed. We are charting a path to the future. You can either join us, fight us, or get out of the way.

Rallies throughout Occupied Palestine in Solidarity with Egypt and Tunisia

by Hanadi Omar and Mazin Qumsiyeh

(about the first demonstration in Bethlehem)

In Solidarity with Egypt, Fifty Gather in Bethlehem’s Nativity Square

(about the second demonstration in Bethlehem) Despite Police, Palestinians Celebrate Egypt’s Revolution in Bethlehem

(In Arabic)

(In Arabic)

(In Arabic)

We will gather also Saturday at 2 in the Nativity square

Miftah Editorial: The Winds of Change Should Shift Our Sail Too

Sout Al Horeya صوت الحريه‎ Amir Eid — Hany Adel — Hawary On Guitar & Sherif On Keyboards

Names of Egyptian martyrs of the revolution

Pictures of the uprising in Egypt

A Birds eye view of the Tahrir (Liberation) square that helped topple a regime. Click on the locations, and see details of the arrangements. Excellent and makes you feel you were there walking around the square

Hostages to Zionism by MARK BRAVERMAN on FEBRUARY 14, 2011 Knesset committee approves bill allowing Israel boycotters to be fined: Bill calls for heavy fines to be imposed on Israeli citizens who initiate or incite boycotts against Israeli individuals, companies, factories, and organizations.



  1. February 17, 2011 at 16:41

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LoLa, senseispeaks. senseispeaks said: FOLLOWING HISTORY INTO THE FUTURE: Who wrote this and when: “I have been keeping up with the situation in Egypt,… […]

  2. brian said,

    February 18, 2011 at 06:36

    while giving a speech on freedom of expression, Hiliary Clinton manages to ignore ex CIA Ray McGovern being beaten and arrested right in front of her for just that:

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